Another prerequisite for the friar's kit? A paternoster. I have a large one I hang from my belt, but I started this one a while back and really wanted to finish it. It is my Olive-pit-paternoster. I needed to finally string the beads I finished and make a cross to put on the end. I made the one you see below and then broke it. I roughed out the image below and drilled five holes. I planned to peen a brass rivet in each hole as a decorative addition and to mark the five wounds of Christ. Bad idea. I peened one OK, and then cracked the cross with the second one.
I was very frustrated after breaking the cross so I left it alone and moved back to stringing the beads. Previously I had nicked the ends of the pits off with a knife and then used the end fo the knife in a twisting motion to "drill" the ends out. I found that the holes I made were large enough for a small thread, but they were not large enough for the hemp cord I wanted to use. I used a hand drill to open up the holes of each bead. I broke about 4 in the process so I recommend making more than you need if you plan on replicating this project.
To help in tying the beads on I used a small piece of wire. I tied the knot over the wire which allowed me to move the knot to the end of the bead before tightening it up firmly.
There were two sizes of olive pits. The smaller ones posed more of a problem. Thes are the types that ended up cracking when I drilled them out. There was some "meat" left in the pit. It was like drilling through a walnut. You pass the shell, but then the meat of the nut/pit some times jammed up the drill or caused it to stick and then crack the seams.
Finally finished. I didn't use a "standard" number of beads in each section. I have seen period paternosters with 6,7,8 and 10 beads per section. I chose to use 8. Basically I like the number eight and that is all the olive pits I had left after breaking a bunch.
After completing I made a small wool sack to keep it in. Done and packed. NEXT!